Stress incontinence is when you “leak” urine. This could happen from laughing, sneezing, coughing, or other movements that put stress on that area such as bending over or lifting something. Regardless of when it happens, stress incontinence can be a frustrating condition and it can be treated. Incontinence isn’t simply something that happens with age—there are usually other factors that influence it and you don’t have to live with this condition.
So what are three treatments for stress incontinence in men?
Modifying behavior for stress incontinence involves helping you to change your behaviors in order to manage and improve your stress incontinence, all through things you can usually do at home.
Behavioral modifications may involve scheduling urination or delaying urination to certain times and trying your best to make it to those times before urinating. It could also include changing your diet in order to eliminate things such as caffeine and diuretics that could be contributing to your stress incontinence. Your doctor may also suggest you keep a journal in which you’ll write the times you experience stress incontinence. It may even be helpful to write down what foods you eat as well to see if any of them are influencing your incontinence.
Behavioral modifications involve being aware of when you experience stress incontinence and what, if any, of your lifestyle factors could be contributing to it.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Your doctor may also suggest that you do pelvic floor muscle exercises. These are perhaps the most proactive treatments for stress incontinence in men. These include Kegels, which help to strengthen muscles that may have weakened with age, lack of physical activity, or a surgery. These will help strengthen the muscles that control your bladder and therefore could help you to manage or even eliminate stress incontinence.
You can easily do pelvic floor muscle exercises at home, but be sure to discuss this option with your doctor before doing so. Kegels involve isolating the muscles that you use to start and stop the flow of urine. You can do this by doing just that—starting and stopping your urine flow. Once you’ve isolated the muscles, you can do Kegels without urinating to help strengthen them.
Surgery or Injections
There are more invasive techniques that may be able to help stress incontinence in men. These include:
- Periurethral Injections. This is where your doctor will use agents via an injection to help close the urethral mucosa. This is a minimally invasive option, but it doesn’t have the best success rates.
- Male Sling. This compression procedure involves a mesh that helps press the urethra to the pubic bone. This may help alleviate your stress incontinence.
- Artificial Urinary Sphincter. This device will help compress your urethra and prevent leaks. This is one of the most effective treatments and is done with a device made from silicone, which is placed around the urethra. A balloon that regulates pressure is also placed in the abdomen. This is regulated by a small pump that is placed in the scrotum, which you’ll be able to control. The fluid in the balloon goes to the cuff that’s compressing the urethra, which effectively prevents the leaking. When you do need to urinate, you can press the scrotal pump and release the fluid back into the balloon which will open the urethra and you’ll be able to urinate.
Stress incontinence can be a challenging condition, but you don’t have to live with the symptoms. Any of these treatments could likely help relieve your incontinence. Talk with your urologist about what you can do to take control of your stress incontinence!